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Menopause – why it is a workplace wellbeing issue

A look at how menopause can affect workplace wellbeing, together with some helpful resources for both individuals and those supporting employee wellbeing at work.

Menopause is a significant life event which will directly affect almost half our population at some point during their lifetime. Indirectly it may have an impact, at one time or another, on almost everyone. Thankfully talking about the menopause has finally come of age and it is a topic which no longer has to be whispered about in office corners.

Last week it was announced that the law firm Burness Paull has become Scotland’s first accredited ‘menopause friendly’ workplace, as well as the first law firm in the UK to attain this accreditation.  To achieve this status employers must demonstrate an understanding of how menopause can affect employees at work, put support and resources in place to help, and be committed to the ongoing wellbeing of colleagues.

How menopause can affect workplace wellbeing

According to the results of a survey of 1409 people experiencing menopausal symptoms led by YouGov for the CIPD in 2019, three in five (59%) working people between the ages of 45 and 55 said it has a negative impact on them at work. And of those negatively affected by symptoms at work:

  • 65% said they were less able to concentrate
  • 58% said they experienced more stress
  • 52% said they felt less patient with clients and colleagues
  • 30% said they had been unable to go into work because of their symptoms, but only a quarter of them felt able to tell their manager the real reason for their absence.

These statistics clearly demonstrate that menopause is an issue which all those in the workplace need to be aware of.  It is one which employers and leaders need to manage, in terms of creating an inclusive culture with workplace policies and practical adjustments to the working environment available.

To help both individuals and all those supporting employee wellbeing at work, we have put together a selection of helpful resources. These are detailed below but can also be found on our Wellbeing at Work resources page.

Menopause at work resources

Living well through your perimenopause and menopause
An informative booklet from the website of the menopause specialist, Dr Louise Newson

Menopause and the workplace
A resource on the NHS Employers site with information on how menopause may affect people at work along with practical guidance on how employers can improve workplace environments

Menopause in the workplace
A practical guide from Business in  the Community for HR, Wellbeing and Occupational Health practitioners

Smash the Stigma - menopause in the workplace
The GMB union have a toolkit on their website which includes factsheets and a model policy document with the aim of helping ensure a more progressive and inclusive approach to those who experience the menopause.

The menopause at work
The CIPD’s knowledge hub have a Let’s Talk Menopause section which includes guidance for line managers, guidance for people professionals, a webinar looking at how we can best support colleagues managing menopausal symptoms, plus printable posters and leaflets.

The Menopause is a workplace issue: guidance and model policy
A comprehensive guide from the union Unison which has been designed “so that you can dip in and dip out, focusing on the areas that are relevant to your employer.”

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